Remembering the 1984 San Diego Padres
CARMELO MARTINEZ- LEFT FIELD
On December 7, 1983, Carmelo Martinez, Al Newman, and Craig Lefferts were dealt to the Padres in a three-team, five-player deal with the Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos.
That day would set up the Padres with one of the youngest and most promising outfields in the game. McReynolds and Marinez would be affectionately known as the M & M boys, a take off of the New York Yankees old outfield duo of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Those two players teamed with Tony Gwynn, provided the fans from San Diego hope for the future.
Carmelo Martinez went on to hit .250 with 13 home runs and 66 runs batted in that year. However, in this day of baseball analytics, let’s take a look at his modern-day equivalent stats. He had a .340 on-base percentage, which was very good. He walked 68 times that year in 570 plate appearances.
Most surprising was his WAR or wins above replacement, or a measure of a player’s overall talent both defensively and offensively. He put up a respectable 3.6 WAR his rookie year (Hunter Pence‘s 2014 WAR 3.57), and he finished 6th in the N.L. Rookie of the Year voting (Dwight Gooden won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1984).
Martinez struggled severely in the playoffs of 1984 and recorded a .176 batting average (6-for-34) with no homers, and no runs batted in while striking out 13 times. After losing McReynolds for the World Series, Martinez was needed but could not deliver. The Padres middle of the order just was not up to par.
When it was all said and done, he amassed .248 batting average as a Padre with 82 home runs and 337 runs batted in. He was a natural first baseman but was never allowed to play the position regularly.
The Padres tried to make him an outfielder, and that wear and tear on his body took its toll. Martinez retired at the age of 31 after a nine-year career. He presently works for the Chicago Cubs as their Latin American Field Coordinator.
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James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.
I just happened upon this article and I’ve got those memories coming back too. I was a 21-yr old punk rocker and surfer from Pacific Beach. I was also a pretty good pitcher and have loved baseball all my life.
I remember traffic just stopped on Ingraham St where I lived and people getting out of their cars to celebrate with the other motorists. Neighbors all running out of their apartments and houses. The whole city was partying!
What I remember the most was Tony Gwynn. Seemingly every damn day, 3 for 5, 3 for 5, 4 for 5, 2 for 4, and on and on. I’ve always been a big box score nut and every morning I’d have to get the San Diego Union and I’d go straight to the boxes and straight to Tony Gwynn’s line. Even if I already knew what he had! He was truly one of the greatest hitters of all time. Top 10, easily.
I miss surfing Blacks Beach every day at dawn, and I miss watching Tony Gwynn hit the ball wherever he wanted to put it. He could hit it into a bucket.
Cheers, Joey Coma.
thank you for the read and comments
Great write-up. Brings back a lot of memories. I went to more games that year than any year before or after, or ever will.
Yesterday I watched the 5th game of the playoffs with the Cubs (on Youtube). I never saw it on TV before as I was fortunate to be in the front row, right above Florence Henderson before she sang the National Anthem (the tickets for that game were easier to get because no one thought they would make it to game 5 after losing the first 2).
To me, the smash by Tony Gwynn through/over Ryne Sandberg was more important than Garvey’s HR the game before, yet Steverino gets all the cred.
In fact, Garvey was average at best. He had about a net 1.5 WAR over 5 years! That is 0.3 WAR per year, as the highest paid player. Yet he batted 3rd or 4th! This seems eerily similar to Hosmer………